tv Mario Livio Galileo and the Science Deniers CSPAN December 23, 2020 9:34am-10:40am EST
c-span archives about congress's increasing use of lame duck sessions to tackle big ticket items. c-span weekly where you get your podcasts. >> you're watching book tv on c-span2, created by america's cable television companies. today we're brought to you by these television companies to provide book tv to viewers as a public service. >> good evening, virtual audience, and welcome. thank you so much for joining us tonight. my name is kate, on behalf of harvard bookstore and the harvard division of science and the library, i'm so pleased introduce this event. galileo and the deniers. tonight it's part of our series that we're so excited to
continue the work to bringing you the authors of recently published scientists related literature to our communities during these unprecedented times. just like always, you can find announcements at harvard.com/events/science. you can sign up for harvard.com for more updates from our newsletter. additionally we have a science research public lecture series, youtube page, you can find what you might have previously missed in the series. and this evening's event will conclude with questions. if you'd like to ask the author something, please go to the ask button and we'll get through as many as time allowses for this evening. also at the bottom of the screen during the presentation you'll see this, where you can bch the book through our partners. and it benefits the harvard
bookstore during these times. and there's also a donate button at the bottom of the scene and now more than ever they entour the landmark independent bookstore. thank you also to our partners at harvard university and thank you to all of you for tuning in and showing up for authors, publishers, indy book selling and especially for science because it really matters. and finally, as you might have experienced in virtual gatherings these last few weeks, technical issues can arise and if they do, we'll do our best to resolve them quickly, thank you so much for your patience and your understanding. so now, i am very pleased to introduce tonight's speaker. a world renowned astrophysicist and best selling author, mario li li liveio has known for his books, accelerating universe, the equation that couldn't be
solved, basis for an emmy nominated nova program. as a seller of the american association of advanced science, he's had contributions, topics, super nova exexplosions, black holes to extrasolar planets. living in this dual world of science research and popular renown, he has appeared on programs, daily show, 60 minutes, all things considered, on being, and many others. and tonight he's with us presenting his seventh book, galileo and the science deniers, hailed as a beautifully chbeautiful ly written enthralling, in light of our situation and the crisis, one would have hoped that galileo story could be treated as the history that this book is, but we really
need-- we're living through the next chapter of science denial with stakes that could not be higher. we're so happy to have him digital here tonight so without further ado, the digital podium is yours, dr. livio. >> thank you very much. with your permission i will now try to share the screen. >> sounds good. >> and just one second. okay. galileo and the science deniers. this is the cover of the book. some people asked why i decided to write this book. very simple reasons, one is i'm
an astrophysicist, galileo is the founder, and he's a fascinating person in general and this business of science denial, which unfortunately we still have to deal with today. so, these are, i think, good enough reasons to do this. so, i started by noting the fact that galileo is-- oh, wait. -- i apologize. my presentation jumped to the very last slide. so i will start again. so i start with the fact that galileo is really a larger than life of our intellectual history and for reasons many of you know, i'm sure, but some of you will find out here. so, because he was such a hero,
many works of art in various areas of the humanities were devoted to him. so, i've just collected a few, for example of paintings where he's being painted and i just rolled them one on top of the others as if i take a bunch of photographs and look at them and throw one on top of the other. this is the earliest portrait known of galileo, when he was 40 or so, and it was done by a tuscan paint er. and you notice his eyes are not symmetric. and he's probably had a problem there. the and this later painter is attributed to a famous painter, but it's not true or not. this is one of the most famous, he's holding a telescope in his hand and we will be talking
about that. but galileo appeared in many other types of paintings. for example, here is a painting of him showing the venice through the telescope to try to observe things and this is even a cartoonish like painting, if truly done in the last century with galileo trying to explain to people through the catholic church. but in addition to, you know, regular standard classical paintings, there are other types of works of art. for example, pop art. so he appeared in pop art. he appears even in graffiti. i was in florence as part of the research, for this book and i saw this on one of the walls of the houses in florence. here he's painted as if he's scuba diving or something. of course, he made it to the google doodle as well, the
telescope and he made it into works of art in other areas. there is a very, very famous play, "the life of galileo", this is a scene from one of the productions and there's even an opera written about galileo. i have a small piece of that opera, but believe it or not, we were unable to make the sound work on the shared screen through crowd cast, so you will not hear the music, but you will see at least the images from the op pr by phillip glass, so, here are those images. and imagine that here there is some singing going on, only that it doesn't happen. oh, and not only it doesn't happen, but in fact, even the things don't advance, which is even worse.
i cannot tell you why that is happening. so i will just jump over that. and let me jump to the discoveries. i apologize. i never use crowd cast before and i don't know how to arrange any kind of technicalities here. so the discoveries, so some of the discoveries had to do with pure physics. galileo was very, very interested in free fall and in free fall in particular, he dropped objects from certain heights. and myth has it that he dropped objects from the leaning tower of pisa. as far as i could tell based on my research, he possibly didn't do that.
he did drop balls from various different heights, but i found no real reliable evidence that he dropped it from the leaning tower, even though his first biographer wrote that he did, but vif viviani wrote when he was very young, but what he suspected and wanted to study was whether or not heavy balls indeed fall faster than light balls because aristotle say that the heavier the ball, the faster it falls, and not only that, but that it falls faster in proportion to the weight. and galileo wanted to test that. but you see, at the time of galileo, there were no good time measures devices. so to measure small differences in time was very, very difficult. so he came up with this
incredibly clever idea of using inclined plane. he realized that, you know, freefall is in some sense can be seen as an extreme case of balls rolling down inclined plane, but inclined plane is vertical to the ground. but by making the angle very, very small he was able to sort of dilute gravity to slow down the ball sufficiently so that he could make more accurate measurements for the motion. but he did more than that by allowing the ball to roll down a plane and then fly into the air. he was able to see the projectry that projectiles do when thrown into the air and he discovered that the projectry
is actually a curve well-known from antiquity, from the ancient greeks. and he was the very first to discovered that the projectiles trace a parabola as they go through the air. he also discovered laws of free fall. that the distance traveled is proportional to the square of the time, meaning, if a ball falls for, you know, twice, let's say one ball falls for a second, another for two seconds, the ball that was for two seconds covers the distance four times, two squared the distance covered by the ball that falls only one second. and many other such things. of course, his most famous discovers were with the telescope. he did not invent the
telescope. it was invented in the netherlands and as soon as he heard about it, he realized it could be a fantastic ins strult. he basically took a tube from an organ and then pleased lenses on the ends. and those are two of his original telescopes, the two that survived in the me museum. instead of looking at the telescopes to look at shapes, he was in the venetian republic, or to spy on his neighbors, he instead turned his telescope to the skies and there he saw incredible things. this was one of the lenses that he polished. it has now this very ornate sort of frame around it, but this is the-- very quickly managed to generate telescopes that had
the power of about 20. i mean, the original telescopes had only a power of about 4 and he did telescopes that had a power of 20. and now, when he looked, the first object he looked to was the moon and here is the first encounter that we have with the situation where galileo's artistic education helped him in his scientific discoveries. you see, at the same time there was this english astronomer harriot who also looked at the moon, but when you look at what he drew from what he saw, you cannot understand anything and neither did harriot himself, even though he saw some features there. but galileo because of his training in drawing as an artist and his understanding of light and shadow, he understood immediately that what he was
observing was a rugged surface of the moon, a surface with mountains, with craters. by looking at the dark part near the terminator, if you look, for example, the bottom right small figure the one that has 3 above it, you will see that there are points of light in the dark side, in the dark parts, unilluminated part, i mean. and he understood that that actually was tops of mountains that were illuminated by the sun and he noticed that, you know, as the time was progressing, you know, light sort of was kraepg down the houn, just as it would do on earth. so he understood very well what he was seeing here and this was also extremely important because until that time, the idea was that there was a huge
difference between things terrestrial and celestial. things on earth were supposed to be corruptible, blemishes and could die. the things in the heavens were supposed to be pristine and no blemishes. what he showed was the moon had a surface similar to the earth and we know that's and this is a picture of the astronaut from the orbiter of the moon, apollo astronaut and you can see the hills and craters on the surface of the moon and of course we also see the earth rise there, this has become a very, very famous painting because of that. as i told you, galileo started also free falling objects and what he concluded at the end,
which was amazing, was that actually all objects in free fall fall at the same rate irrespective of their weight and the only real difference we observe on earth is because of the air of resistance. at that time there still were novac -- no vacuum pumps. and there was a thinking what would happen if you drop a heavy ball and a light ball. this experiment was done on the moon by astronaut scott and i want to show you the video of that now, but i'm now a little bit concerned because that video also has sound in it and since the sound doesn't work, i'm not sure if the video itself will work. but let's see.
i don't know if you hear it, but he has a hammer, and the other and he dropped both of them on the moon. and you see they hit the ground at the same time. and he says, i guess mr. galileo was correct. i'm not sure if you heard the sound, but i'm telling you what he was saying. he says we got here to the moon because of a certain gentleman named galileo who made some certain discoveries about falling objects and then he did
this experiment. turning his telescope to other celestial objects. he discovered four satellites of jupiter and that was an immense discovery. this is the first document where he described it. this is the bottom half, and he wrote to venice. you see the simple drawing, sometimes you see all four satellites and sometimes you see two on one side, two on the other side and three on one, one on the other. the importance of this discovery cannot be, you know, overemphasized. the thing is the following: first of all, these were the very first objects since antiquity, new jobs discovered in the solar system. second, the people who objected
to the model, at the time what was prevailing was basically-- the idea was that all the planets and the sun revolved around the earth. galileo adopted the capernican model and he wrote this book, and that all the planets including the earth resolved around the sun. people who objected to this, raised a variety of objections. fom were the following, if the earth is really just another planet like all other planets, how come it is the only planet that has a moon? well, galileo showed that jupiter has not one moon, but even four moons. second, they were saying, oh, well, if the earth were to revolve around the sun, surely
it would have lost its moon. how come it manages to preserve its moon. >> well, here was jupiter revolving around something, you choose whether around the moon earth or the sun and here there are four moons, that kills that objection. so that is extraordinarily important. it's less known that galileo detected neptune in 1612. this is the point you see on the very left of the figure. now, he can't recognize it as a planet because his telescope wasn't good enough, and observations not long enough to be able to tell that it was moving, but he did detect it. the discovery of neptune was delayed until the middle of the 19th century when it was really disorder to be a planet. one of the most important
discoveries of galileo and by all means, i'm not giving you all of them, just a flavor of the discovery, is the phases of the planet venus. you see, the thing is like in. venus was known to be between the earth and the sun and if venus is revolving around the sun, then it should show a whole set of phases just like the moon, position, when it is the farthest of the earth. it should look smallest and fully lit. when it's closest to earth, as in the bottom of the figure, it should look largest in basically dark and in between, it should show these various crescent phases just like the moon. this does not, is not expected if venus was revolving around the earth. so, by showing this, galileo gave a strong argument, perhaps the strongest against the
model. i want now to move to something else, which is particularly important since we are talking, now, in the context of a bookstore and so on. and there is this author and chemist who in the 1950's noticed the following, he noticed in england that starting from about the 30's, people in the literary circles started to refer to themselves as the intellectual, there by excluding scientists from that definition and furthermore, they were complaining about sciences not knowing much about the humanities at all. at the same time noted the same intellectuals actually knew almost nothing about the scientists and that they did
not seem to bother them. so he wrote this book, he first gave a talk and then wrote the book which was called the two cultures, where he basically described a schism that he thought had developed between the humanities and the sciences. now, if you look at galileo, galileo would not have even understood what he was talking about. you see, galileo lived during late renaissance, so even in terms of, you know, the chronology, we could call him a renaissance person, but he was a renaissance person in every other aspect, too. already it takes 24, he gave two lectures on dante's inferno, this is from dante's
define comedy. and this was from the inferno. he was a great admirer of this poet and he could crighton tire passages from him and wrote an essay comparing him to another poet. he thought this poet was far superior, but it wasn't just in literature and poetry. first of all, he was a musician. his father was a musician and a music theorists and galileo was an accomplished lute player and very often played with his father. as i say, he studied himself drawing, but in addition to that he had famous friends. and a famous painter was one of his friends and this is here
the chople. the tome of the chapel. i want to draw your attention to the figure at the bottom which shows the virgin standing on the moon. and if you look closer at that you will find that he painted the moon as seen through galileo's telescope. ... the was a friend of his was one of the great painters of the renaissance, but perhaps one of the very few women painters, and she painted this painting which
was the beheading. this was her first version of the painting, but she spoke to galileo and he told her about this business of projectiles, tracing when shooting in the air, and she applied it to the blood squirting from, for instance, the neck. in her second version if you look at the same area at the bottom, you'll see this where you actually see the blood creating this trajectory, and this is her second version of this painting. him for some reason things get k you and i cannot tell why. i have no idea what is happening
here. i apologize but we do have a technical issue here which i am trying to resolve. i cannot even escape from the presentation. i don't know what's happening. >> you want me to cancel out of it and bring it back up again? >> please do. >> all right. >> one moment, everyone. do you want to hit screen share again? >> okay.
i'm not getting it. >> let's see. everyone, sit tight for a second. >> i'm doing it again. >> awesome, that's great. >> okay. now let's see however that advances me or not. perfect i wouldn't say because i now have advanced to a place where i didn't want to -- okay. i will go now back. we saw the second version of her painting, and this is the full second version. thank you very much. okay. let's now jump over a few decades in galileo is life, and this book that he wrote and tried to publish in .
the book was written as a conversation among three people. one of whom who represented galileo himself. another one was an educated but layperson, and the third person was supposed to be an avid aristotelian. galileo had call that person -- named after a great supporter of galileo, of aristotle theories but it also is somewhat of a connotation of a simpleton. in this book galileo, anybody who read the book immediately sort of saw that galileo was strongly supported the copernican model of the solar system and was basically ridiculing the opinions of --
defending the other views. galileo knew that, and his friends told him, that he wouldn't get permission to publish the book. you see, to publish a book then you had to get permission from the catholic church. so for the book to be actually accepted he added the preface and the conclusion section which seem to say that, yeah, whatever it says in the book, things are inconclusive. you cannot determine whether the copernican or the other versions are correct. unfortunately, this preface and conclusion really looked to anybody who read the book as an afterthought.
and, in fact, special commission that was appointed to say whether galileo defended copernican is him him at a a concluded that it absolutely defended copernican-ism. one of even said he holds that opinion. that was considered heretical and i should also mention that 17 years earlier, there was an injunction against galileo which in the strict version of it did not allow galileo neither to hold nor defend no teaching anyway the copernican-ism. he had in his possession a letter from the chief card at the time which was a somewhat softer version that basically said that he couldn't hold the copernican position but it didn't say he could teach it or talk about this. so we thought he was okay but
that didn't fly very well, and he was put on trial. i want to emphasize now a few points here that galileo had in his discussion with the inquisition. very often when people talk about the galileo affair, they present it as if this was a clash between science and religion. it absolutely was not, and galileo never saw it as such. galileo was himself a religious person. the class wars between the science that he was presenting and literal interpretations of the bible, and galileo's point was that one shouldn't interpret the bible literally because the bible is not a science book. for example, the mobility or stability of the earth or the sun is neither a matter of faith
nor one contrary to ethics. so there is no contradiction, he said. and he pointed out that look, there's evidence this is not written as a science book is that the names of the planets are not even mentioned in the bible. so basically his point was that the bible was written for our salvation and not as a science book and, therefore, should not be taken as the science book, and that whenever the reason there's conflict between what observations and experiments tell us, and a literal interpretation of the biblical tax, it means we just had to be different. the bible we said was written for common people to understand. the language was not scientifically accurate. his strongest point on this was that he say he did not think
that saying god was given us our senses come , reason, and intelligence, wished us to abandon the use pixel basically he was saying it observations and reasoning to you one thing, which appears to be contrary to a literal interpretation, he says you need to change the interpretation. now unfortunately all this did not help him. he was put on trial. in the reason perhaps was an attempt to reach some sort of a plea deal but that didn't work particularly well. the bottom line was this resulted in one of the most horrible events in our intellectual history where galileo on his knees was found vehemently suspected of heresy and forced to adjourn.
i want to make a point here. with eyes that today of course we see this trial as assault on intellectual freedom. you see, the point is that irrespective of whether galileo was talking about the correct model, supposedly the copernican model was wrong one, but it was still his right to write about this. the church did not really have the right to condemn him, to prohibit his books. this book, dialogue, was on the index of prohibited books and people of the 19th century and so on. now, they read this verdict and he was supposed to abjure and recount all of this, and he did. he recanted on his knees again,
i abjure, curse, and detest the above-mentioned errors and heresies, which basically went against much of his life's work so this is a really horrible incident. now, i do want to emphasize that from its own perspective because galileo didn't tell the people who gave him permission to print the book about that injunction from 17 years earlier, you know, the church was right to find him guilty in that. but as an assault on intellectual freedom there is no question about this. i hate to use the following phrase, but galileo ended up giving down the finger.
this is galileo's finger which is in the galileo museum in florence when his body was moved from rather an obscure grave to the current to where it is, a couple of fingers, , a tooth and even a part of his bladder were removed from his body for whatever reason and those our nephew. the point is the following. in 1992, pope john paul ii recognized that galileo was right and the church was wrong. here is what he said. he basically said simply that -- and again we lost connection. kate, can you please do something? >> sorry, , my microphone was o. i am here. >> the pope said paradoxically
-- >> i canceled your screen. you want a screen share again? sorry, , i cancel that. i thought we were we doing it. that's my fault. all right, there we go. >> it's okay now? >> yes. >> so pope john paul ii in 92 said their dock sickly, galileo compassing sincere believer, proved himself more personalization
is on this issue than his theologian at pacific the majority of theologians did not perceive the formal distinction that exists between the holy scripture in itself and its interpretation. so basically the pope completely
agreed with galileo but it took some 350 years for that to happen. pope francis here i am with the pope only it's not the real pope. it's a cardboard image of the pope but it looks very real. this is at the catholic university of america and pope francis also said the big bang does not contradict the divine act of creating, evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation. so two popes now basically agreed there is no thing. i want now, this and all the want to tell you about galileo, but
the book is called "galileo and the science deniers." and like i said one of the reasons i wrote the book, one of the main reasons is because we are unfortunately encountering science denial today. i want to give you one very clear example and that is climate change. but look, i want to make my what
i present here completely nonpartisan. i just show you some data and you can judge for yourself. this shows the carbon dioxide concentration in the earth atmosphere in the past 50 years measured very for accurately as you can see. the main thing i wanted to look at is not so much the values of the concentration but the enormously rapid rate at which it is changing over these past 50 years. and if that did not impress you enough or certainly maybe did not convince you that this is somehow related to human activity, i want to show you the past 300 years. so here it is the past 300 years and then if you look from about 1850, i remind you the industrial revolution around
1848, two here comes look at the right in the concentration and in particular the rise of the last 50 years. furthermore, if you look at ice cores, people can determine, scientists can determine the concentration of co2 in the atmosphere even in the past 10,000 years. and and this is what it looks like. so you can see that it sort of balance is all over the place, but look at the rate at which it is happening in the last 50 years. we even have from ice cores data for the past 800,000 years. but this is not the right figure so again, kate, i'm stuck again. >> do you want me to exit out? >> yes. >> would you like to screen
share again? >> yes, i will. >> we are getting really good at this. >> yeah, but it's unfortunate. yeah, if i give a talk for seven hours the navy we will by then be perfect. >> all right. there we go. >> let me see here if this -- >> looks good on my end. >> so here is the 800,000 years. so you can see that, because people say yeah, yeah, but the co2 concentration has changed over the years and it has indeed and you can see the changes here, but look at what happens in the recent past. it just blows off the graph here.
so when you have today situations where people try to ignore this or try to deny, well, first the existence of climate change by doctor that, you know, whether humans at anything to do with this, this is i think what they should remember. again it's very sad that we are in the middle of a pandemic now, and this pendant at the very early stages of the pandemic, in the u.s., for example, statements such as o, we now have 15 cases and soon it wille close to zero, did not help. there are no models that show had the initial response been to actually trust the science, you know, we could've ended up with far fewer people dying from this
disease. so basically i want to finish year with some lessons from here, , and there is a main lesson. this is galileo's tomb. it's a beautiful tomb. here you can see me standing in front of it. it is in the basilica in florence, and it is by the way right across from the tomb of michelangelo, the painter. the main lesson here is the following. you see, it is never really a good idea to bet against science. to do so when things like human life or even the future of life on our planet are at stake, it is really unconscionable to do. it is not that site is always
right. scientists are actually the first to admit that science is always only provisional. science is only as good as the data that was available to create the models and things at a given time. but science also self corrects. sometimes the self correction is very rapid, sometimes it may take decades but it does self correct. so basically the main lesson is belief in science. and so i want here to thank you, and i will take questions, if there are. >> all right. >> so i will take this and close it. >> yes. so everyone, if you have questions about this book or any of his previous work you can
feel free to enter them in the question box below. let's look at what ones we have so far. richard asks, what was relationship, if any, between galileo and other enlightened scholars at this time come such as the jesuits kershner? >> so not with him, but he definitely, he was in good relations with many scientists of his time, in particular for a while after that he had a quarrel but for a while he was in good relationship with johannes kepler, very famous astronomer. they exchange correspondence. he was in relationship with jesuit astronomers and mathematicians of the college of romano in rome, with some of them he had very serious disagreements and in particular he was very annoyed when they didn't come to his defense, even
though their observations fully confirmed his. so he was in relationship to other people, people of science at the time. >> all right. paul greenberg asked, the science didn't advance and constant small steps building on itself over long time with many incremental contributors, or does it advance with vast leaves my lone geniuses like galileo? who is the galileo of the 21st century? >> yeah, so you know, i imagine from the question that this person also read thomas koontz book which talked about the revolutions in science. but the truth is i think that science advances in both, not in one of the two, rather than the other but in both. i mean, there is a lot of
incremental work which eventually leads to a revolution. but sometimes the incremental work is not so noticed and then the revolution is much more notice. now of course there are revolutions that are inspired, for example, in galileo's case, also by technology. the fact that there is a telescope that is available. when you have something like this, clearly that is like a quantum leap. when you have people like einstein who suggest general relatively seemingly out of thin air, you know, innocency was not in the air at all, then that's the type of revolution. but otherwise most of the time it's more incremental, and also like you said, depending on technology. with the galileo of the 21st century, i don't know that we have one yet to be honest.
i mean, for a while we thought that superstring theory would be an entertainment questions. now there are serious doubts whether that is actually true. so we don't really know. i think that with advances in new telescopes and things like this we will have new discoveries. we will have many new discoveries. >> mark kelton asks, how do we combat the continued assault on signs that is still happening 400 years later? how did we turn the tide back to science? >> i wish i knew the answer to that. as i said, i think that the current sidelining of science is alarming, to be honest. what worries me more is that there are some studies which appear to show that once it does
form certain opinions, it is extremely difficult to change those opinions even if you present them with clear contradictory facts. and so the only way, in my opinion, to combat this but it takes time, is to really start with young children and throughout the whole education system. the education system, not everybody should become a scientist. god forbid that all society were scientist. we need the humanists, we need to artists, we need the musicians. we need all of that, but we do need to see -- and a whole chapter in the book about this -- we needed to science as a part of culture, as a part of one human culture here everybody
needs to have an appreciation of science. everybody needs to know, for example, that in galileo's time people need their life expectancy was half of what it is today. it's only because of science. if you look at the difference between what we call the modern world and the medieval world, the main difference has to do with science. so people need to have this appreciation of what science is and they need to know some basic things like that there are laws of nature at of our universe appears to obey, things of that sort. >> i will pick another one. a question about galileo. given his fascination did he ever tackled the question of gravity itself? >> it's a very good question, and the answer is no. he didn't. galileo, he was a revolutionary,
but in some ways he was still appreciative of previous views. he did not leave much in mysterious forces acting across distance, and this for example, is also for example, why his explanation for ocean tides was completely wrong. galileo wasn't always right. he was on many occasions he was wrong. he didn't understand. even though kepler already suggested that the moon had something to do with the tides but galileo never accepted this. so no, he studied motion itself and found some loss of freefall and so which all of all helped newton but he wasn't newton. he did other things. >> this is a related question about his research. was galileo aware of giordano bruno was positioned at the
distant points of light called stars were actually sons? and where or not did have its own speculation? >> he was a yes. i didn't show them on his many discoveries that actually he turned his telescope to the milky way and he showed that what's normally looked at almost sort of a continuous light, you know, broke down the many, many, many stars at different luminosity is. so we understood there was vast number of stars and he was aware of bluenose fate turkey was burned at the stake, unfortunately. >> by the way, had galileo been found not e-mail he suspected of heresy but to be a radical he would've been burned at the stake, too.
>> so michael -- i don't know what to say to that, that's horrible. michael ask, concerning the term intellectuals, a parallel term has been in use for some time at least on the continent. was it refer to both scientists and literary scholars or only the latter? if the latter, was intellectuals a response to the foreign bolshevik term? >> i don't know if his response to the bolshevik term. look, if we go back 400 years, certainly there was no very, very clear distinction among artists and things and scientist and so on. leonardo da vinci famously did lots of science experiments as well as being a painter. a painter who by the way was born on this date today, may 21,
he was a great painter but he was also an accomplished mathematician and he did all kinds of things. so people around that time did both. the distinctions were blurred between being an artist, people were architects and at the same time they were painters. surely the phenomenon that c. p. snow noticed i don't think really started in the 1930s. it probably started before that, that he can't a documented it. there are people who still think today that that schism exists. there are people like humbly myself who try to bridge the gap by writing "popular science" books and things like that to
make it clear that this is part of all one culture. >> randy has a question that is rather bleak but a very interesting experiment. does the professor think the covid experience will be the end of science deniers? if they die from unprotected behavior. >> no. no, first of all i don't wish anybody to die, even if i completely disagree with their opinions. but it would not be the end of science denial. and the fact is that even now, yes, we are living through a stage where there is no question that the response of the u.s. with an adequate, at least at the very early stages, and maybe even to some extent now. look, here is a statistic i look at. i look, for example, on may 14. i look at a number of deaths in
the u.s. and south korea, and i look come south korea has 52 million people. the u.s. has 328. i calculated the number of deaths per million people in south korea and in the u.s. in the u.s. the deaths per million people on may 14th, 264. 264 people died per million population. do you know what the number was in south korea? it was five. five. what in the u.s. was 264, in south korea was five. 5.03 to be precise. what's the difference? the difference is that the response from the beginning was, follow the science, and it did
the contact tracing and the isolation and all the steps that we eventually ended up doing. they did right from the start. in vietnam did things like that. germany to some extent. germany, the number is not as good as in south korea. that something like come have something like 95 deaths per million, , citizens. germany has a population of some 83 million people. but again they responded more quickly and followed the science. >> something quicktime for about one more question, and i think i'm going to take this question and spend it a tiny bit. sydney asks what would be your answer to someone who doesn't agree with the consensus on global warming? which i know you talked about some, i think maybe for the people in our own lives, right, not just global warming but i'm
not keen to look at science for a part of culture or as a force for decision-making. what would be, how would your response to people i can own life like that? >> well look, what can i say? i showed here those graphs. this is totally nonpartisan. those graphs speak for themselves. we see that in the past 50 years, again i'm not talking about specific numbers. i'm talking about the rate, , te rate of change is unprecedented in history, in recorded history in any fashion. so clearly we are facing a serious problem here, and even if you are not 100% convinced that humans are responsible for this, there is no doubt that human activity, if we continue to burn fossil fuels does not
help the situation. so we must do something because if not, places like bangladesh,, like florida and so on may be underwater. so we have to do something about this and hopefully everybody will recognize that. and yes, it will cost money, yes. now what, with this pandemic it didn't cost money? of course sometimes things happen and they are so bad that it costs money and you have to pay a price, and the price may be very, very difficult. we have now so many unemployed in these things. it's horrible, i recognize that it is horrible but it is also horrible to have hundreds of thousands of dead people, you know. >> well, it's a sad note, a bleak note to endon but in less
-- >> believe in science is a very positive note. >> i agree, that's a positive note to endon. that's kind of what this science book texas is all about after all. well, thank you once again the dr. livio for your presentation and for your patience with technology and with crowd cast. and thank you to all of you out there for spending your evening with us. please feel free to learn more about this important book and purchase "galileo and the science deniers" at the link below. so on behalf of harvard book store, the university division of science and the science library all her in cambridge, massachusetts, have a good night, keep reading and please be well. good night everyone. >> thank you, kate, and thank everybody. >> weeknights this month we feature booktv programs as a preview of what's available and you weekend on c-span2. tonight as part of our 2020 year
in review with focus on books about business and economics. >> that starts at 8 p.m. eastern. enjoy booktv this week and of you weekend on c-span2. >> 61 million americans have some form of disability but yet we are in less than 3% of film and ev shows and of that the majority of those roles are portrayed by nondisabled actors. so ultimately as somebody with a disability we want to see ourselves represented. because oldman not only are we seeing ourselves represented but
it's going to help destigmatize disability and representation in general gets society used to everybody and ultimately it makes the work and more inclusive place. >> actor nic novicki founded easter seals disability film challenge in response to seeing disabilities underrepresented in front of and behind the camera. sunday night on q&a he will talk about this year's entries and winning films. nic novicki at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. >> listen to c-span's podcast the weekly here were talking to purdue university political scientist robert browning who directs the c-span archives about congresses increasing use of lame-duck sessions to tackle big-ticket legislation. find c-span the weekly where you get your podcasts. >> you are watching booktv on
c-span2 every weekend with the latest nonfiction books and authors. booktv on c-span2 created by america's cable-television company. today we're brought to you by the super television company as a public service. >> good evening and welcome. i am john, the event director literati bookstore. we are pleased to welcome terry virts and conversation meeting with fraser cain. you are muted and you will remain muted. speak of you will be the ideal experience for you tonight. that way you'll just speaking at any time and we do ask you keep your video off as well. the chat is closed but you can open your chat window because i'll be dropping links to purchase this book and more information in the chat window and then you can submit questions to me directly for the